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Can I Object?

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agchristie | 23:28 Mon 23rd Nov 2020 | Law
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Ive recently been interviewed a few times at the police station.I have to go back tomorrow but have been told this time it is going to be on camera.

Why would this be and can I refuse? Thanx

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Anyone is entitled to refuse to be interviewed, irrespective of whether they're under arrest for murder or simply a potential witness to a crime.

It's standard practice though to record any interview (usually on video as well as audio these days) which could possibly be challenged in some way at a later date. For example, a defendant might later say "I only gave that statement because the copper had got me in an arm lock and I thought he was going to break my arm". A quick look at the video would show that statement to be false.

A video of a police interview can also be used in court to show the defendant's body language at the time, so that the jury can determine whether he/she was struggling to find answers or totally relaxed in his/her responses.

The video would also be available to both sides if, say, the person being interviewed made an official complaint about the attitude or behaviour of the police officers involved. (e.g. if the complainant in a rape case alleged that the police officers clearly weren't taking her evidence seriously when she provided her statement).
Question Author
Thanx Chris for that.Its just I dont get why on a third interview they have said it will be filmed this time...
Are you a witness Ag?
The recording of suspect's statements has started since I retired so I have no direct knowledge but I have found this:

'If the suspect raises objections to the interview being visual y recorded either at the
outset or during the interview or during a break in the interview, the interviewer shal
explain the fact that the interview is being visual y recorded and that the provisions
of this code require that the suspect’s objections shal be recorded on the visual
recording. When any objections have been visual y recorded or the suspect has
refused to have their objections recorded, the interviewer shall say that they are turning
off the recording equipment, give their reasons and turn it off. If a separate audio
recording is being maintained, the officer shal ask the person to record the reasons
for refusing to agree to visual recording of the interview. Paragraph 4.8 of Code E will
apply if the person objects to audio recording of the interview. The officer shal then
make a written record of the interview. If the interviewer reasonably considers they
may proceed to question the suspect with the visual recording stil on, the interviewer
may do so. See Note 4G.'

Thats from: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/52919/response/132216/attach/html/5/PACE%20Code%20F%20Visual%20recording%20of%20suspect%20interviews.pdf.html

If you are a witness the officer in the case may, for whatever reason, consider that you are a 'vulnerable person' and may wish to video your evidence to produce in court. If that is the case you can refuse.

Things have moved on a lot since I was interviewing people...
so as I read the responses, you can refuse to be interviewed but if you agree you can't refuse to have it filmed?

Being filmed can protect you too of course but what Chris says about body language is a little worrying. Many perfectly innocent people might appear nervous simply because they're unused to being filmed.
Question Author
Thanx folks for your replies.I was interviewed on camera for well over an hour.It was explained to me that it was filmed under 'Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings' which there is a big document issued by the MoJ.

I had the right at any stage to stop the interview even having agreed to be on camera

I am going to be interviewed again on camera in the next days as I have to be filmed signing another statement.
Question Author
"but what Chris says about body language is a little worrying. "

Thats v true.I lost concentration cos I was too conscious of how I shud be sat and not either rush me answers or hesitate :-(
Sign a statement? - Nah, they just want your autograph... ;-)
Question Author
Haaaa! Shoots,the police have quite a few of me autographs I dunno why they just dont photocopy it!!

I think when they see me they think 'god not 'er again' ;-)
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Btw Shoots,last time I was told I didnt need a mask but they did (even tho they took em off). Yesterday I walk in without one on got told off at the desk.

The interviewing officers came out and said 'nah,u dont need to wear one - we r takin ours off'!!!!
Question Author
Yes PP - gud bedtime reading (not!)

gets better after p 80
and worffa read if the AB is slow or crazy like tonite

there is quite a lot you have asked here which THEY should have supplied when they said no 3 wd be filmed.

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